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Eady Cornelius Eady Why Do So Few Blacks Study Creative Writing? Always the same, sweet hurt, The understanding that settles in the eyes Sooner or later, at the end of class, In the silence cooling in the room. Sooner or later you come to this. You stand face to face to your Younger face and you have to answer A student, a young woman, this time, And you're alone in the post-workshop, Or in your office, a day or so later, And she has to know, if all music Begins equal, why this poem of hers Needed a passport, a glossary, A disclaimer. It was as if I were... What? Talking for the first time? Giving yourself up? Away? There are worlds, and there are worlds, She reminds you. She needs to know What's wrong with me? And you want To crowbar or spade her hurt To the air. You want to photosynthesis To break it down to an organic language, You want to shake / hear you Into her ear, armor her life With permission. Really, what Can I say? That if she chooses To remain here the term Neighborhood will always have A foreign stress, that there Will always be the moment 2 the minnesota review You notice that the small, hard Details of your life Have circled the wagons? The Suprêmes We were born to be gray. We went to school, Sat in rows, ate white bread, Looked at the floor a lot. In the back Of our small heads A long scream. We did what we could, And all we could do was Turn on each other. How the fat kids suffered! Not even jolliness could balance them. And then there were the anal retentives, The terrified brown-noses, the desperately Athletic or popular. This, of course Was training. At home Our parents shook their heads and waited. We learned of the industrial revolution, The sectioning of the clock into pie slices. We drank cokes and twiddled our thumbs. In the Back of our minds A long scream. We snapped butts in the showers, Froze out shy girls on the dance floor, Pin-pointed flaws like radar. Slowly, we understood: This was to be the world We were born insurance salesmen and secretaries, Housewives and short order cooks, Stock room boys and repairmen And it wouldn't be a bad life, they promised In a tone of voice that would force some of us To reach in self-defense for wigs, Lipstick, Sequins. Eady Muddy Waters & The Chicago Blues Good news from the windy city: Thomas Edison's Time on the planet has been validated, the guitars And harps begin their slow translation Of the street, an S.O.S. of what you need And what you have. The way this life Tries to roar you down, you have to fight Fire with fire: The amplified power Of a hip, rotating in an upstairs flat Vs. the old indignities, the static Heat of nothing, nowhere No how against this conversation Of fingers and tongues, this Rent party above the Slaughter-house. ...


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